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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 17th March 2023

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Insurance News

First Underwriting, part of Kingfisher UK Holdings, has stopped writing private car and home business. The managing general agent, which signed a five-year £1bn capacity deal with Accredited Insurance Europe last January for specialty products, will instead focus on specialist and commercial lines after the shift in strategy. According to the MGA, the exits account for “just a small part” of the product portfolio and the switch has been supported by the capacity provider and broker partners. (Saxon East, 16/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'First Underwriting exits private car and home')

Intangic MGA has launched with backing from AXA XL, offering parametric cyber insurance for large public corporations headquartered in the UK. The policy, CyFi, covers losses up to $15m (£12.5m) from material cyber breaches. The London-based managing general agent detailed the insurance has two parametric triggers: the level of malicious activity targeting a company, and a subsequent loss in value. When both have been met the claim is paid, with the MGA putting the timeframe at “days, not months”. (Emmanuel Kenning, 16/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Intangic MGA launches with Axa XL-backed cyber parametric policy')

Matthew Brewis, Director of insurance at the Financial Conduct Authority, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the first Insurance Age Broker Breakfast event in Leeds next month. Taking part at the Queens Hotel, New Station Street, the session on 19 April will feature Brewis talking about the Consumer Duty alongside two panels. One of the panels will focus on the cost of living crisis and include Andy Morley, group Managing Director, Proaktive; Michelle South, Director of Operations, Brokerbility alongside other senior speakers from Howden and Aon. (Insurance Age Reporter, 16/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'FCA boss Brewis to address Consumer Duty concerns at Insurance Age event')

Following the launch of Zurich’s Global Climate Change Resilience Services, Zurich UK is making the full range of services available to domestic customers and it will also be available through brokers. The insurer confirmed it is also willing to discuss options for distribution models through brokers. The services offer risk management solutions to help organisations prepare for and withstand climate risks, from flooding, wildfires to droughts, rising sea levels, and windstorms. It also covers a variety of climate scenarios and time horizons from today to 2100, in five-year increments. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 15/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Zurich UK launches climate change resilience services')

One Call CEO Nik Springthorpe has given a touching tribute to Director Oliver Rose, who died in a car crash. Rose died at the scene when the Ferrari he was in came off the road and crashed into a tree in Armthorpe, Doncaster, on 5 March, according to the Doncaster Free Press. Springthorpe said staff at the Doncaster-based vehicle broker were ‘deeply devastated and in utter shock over the news’. The 37-year-old was a high-ranking Director at One Call.(Saxon East, 15/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'One Call tribute to ‘incredible talent’ director Oliver Rose, who died in a car crash')

Close Brothers has revealed a 2% fall in its premium finance book to £990.1m in its latest set of results. The business had also reported a 4% drop in its previous full year results. The decline for the six months to 31 January meant Close Brothers slipped below the £1bn threshold having been at £1.01bn at the end of July. (Emmanuel Kenning, 14/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Close Brothers premium finance drops 2%')

Sabre Insurance has reported a 66.5% drop in profit after tax to £10.1m for 2022, as the combined operating ratio deteriorated to 96% from 79.4% in 2021. The provider’s gross written premium ticked up marginally from £169.3m to £171.3m. Sabre’s motor premium was down year-on-year at £134.9m from £164.6m. According to the insurer, the motor book remained “suppressed in 2022 due to continued market-wide underpricing”. In its view, “a material correction is necessary”. (Emmanuel Kenning, 14/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Profits down two-thirds at Sabre in 2022')

​The law firm Harwood has been found vicariously liable for losses, damages and costs incurred by the insurer Aviva, after recruiting a solicitor with a criminal record. In a press release from the insurance law firm HF, it was revealed that Wasim Khan was engaged by Harwood as a fee earner with the authority to negotiate claims against insurers and process settlement funds. However, before he came to the role, Khan had a string of criminal convictions and by 2020 had racked up 11 previous appearances before the criminal courts and been charged with 16 different offences, including burglary, robbery and possession of weapons. (Mia Wallace, 16/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Law firm found vicariously liable for losses incurred by Aviva')

Wednesday’s Spring Budget aims to achieve long-term, sustainable economic growth in the UK – the vision for which the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says is largely supported by what the insurance and long-term savings industry does. Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt stated on March 15: “Today, we deliver the next part of our plan – a budget for growth. Not just the growth that comes when you emerge from a downturn, but long-term, sustainable, healthy growth that pays for our NHS and schools, finds jobs for young people, and provides a safety net for older people, all while making our country one of the most prosperous in the world.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 16/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Spring Budget 2023 – ABI reacts')

The past year, which was only Inigo Limited’s second full year of operation, saw the underwriting business double its gross written premium (GWP) to $801.5 million. According to Inigo, its GWP in 2022 grew by 95% while its 2023 target, as approved by Lloyd’s, stands at $1.2 billion. Last year also proved to be a profitable period for Inigo, which reported a pre-tax profit of $28.7 million.(Terry Gangcuangco, 16/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Underwriting business Inigo doubles gross written premium')

Allianz Group has announced that it will serve the global commercial insurance segment as one go-to-market business under the trading name Allianz Commercial, featuring an integrated approach encompassing its Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) business serving large corporate clients and the insurance businesses of Allianz’s operating entities serving mid-sized country-based accounts. (Allianz, 14/3/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Allianz to serve global commercial insurance segment as one go-to-market business')

Insurance broker Dickson & Wilson Insurance has announced the opening of a second office as part of their expansion into the border region. The new office, which opened in January, is based in Monaghan’s M:TEK Enterprise Park. Dickson & Wilson Insurance Brokers Limited was established in 2019 following the acquisition of Gunn Robinson Insurance Brokers in Dunboyne, Co. Meath and has experienced strong year on year growth since. Their new Monaghan office will employ ten people initially, with plans to recruit up to ten more over the next twelve months, eventually growing the office to a team in excess of 35 people, which will be in addition to the projected twenty people to be based in their Dunboyne office.(Dickson & Wilson Insurance, 13/3/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Dickson & Wilson opens new Monaghan office')

Distribution and Trading Director, Sarah Mallaby, claims that AXA UK has seen an improvement in broker engagement as it focuses on face-to-face trading complemented by an investment in digital products and support. At the beginning of 2022, Mallaby said that the insurer was committed to becoming more accessible to its brokers and highlighted the importance of re-establishing relationships with its intermediary partners. Mallaby stressed that if insurers do not engage with their brokers in person, then they will struggle to build deeper relationships. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 16/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Axa hails importance of face-to-face meetings as it seeks to be more visible')

Lloyd’s has reported a two percentage points increase in the proportion of women in leadership roles to 32%, as it targets reaching 35% by year-end. According to the marketplace, the “strong progress” has brought the goal “within reach”. Lloyd’s said it was encouraged that 35% of firms already met or exceeded the 35% target, up from 26% last year. Ethnic minority representation in leadership also rose, by four percentage points, to 9%. (Emmanuel Kenning, 16/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Lloyd’s reveals market increases in female and ethnic minority leadership')

Tauseef Sadeeq, a former Trainee Solicitor at Jacob Miller Solicitors, has been handed down a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 20 counts of fraud involving insurance compensation. According to Manchester Evening News, Sadeeq embezzled more than £100,000 over the course of a year from February 2020 by diverting payments from insurers into his own bank accounts. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance fraudster gets two years in jail')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Gallagher has struck its first UK deal of the year – buying Liverpool-based FE Protect, which specialises in the education sector with a particular focus on further education. The broker, founded in 2016, has been privately owned since 2019, following a management buyout. It also operates under the brands Education Protect and Education Protect Scotland.(Emmanuel Kenning, 15/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Gallagher boosts education practice with FE Protect purchase')

Specialist Risk Group has bought mid-market commercial broker, Consort Insurance, subject to regulatory approval. Consort Insurance, which is based in Witham, Essex, specialises in Construction, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Entertainment. The broker also offers specialist insurance for organisations with an exposure to fire risk through its Protection and Detection product.(Sophie Locke-Cooper, 14/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'SRG buys Consort Insurance')

​Howden continues to expand its operations across Europe with the acquisition of BWV Versicherungsbroker AG (BWV), an independent broker in Liechtenstein that caters to both corporate and private clients. Following the completion of the acquisition, BWV will trade as Howden Liechtenstein AG and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Howden Switzerland, led by Felix Jenny, CEO of Howden Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein.(Mika Pangilinan, 16/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden continues European expansion with latest acquisition')

Not much time has passed since Pen Underwriting first announced its ambition to become a £1 billion GWP underwriting and distribution business. The latest move in its ambitious growth strategy – the acquisition of Tay River Holdings’ group of marine businesses. In a letter seen by Insurance Business, it was announced that Pen is in the advanced stages of acquiring the specialist marine MGAs trading as Trafalgar Marine Trades, Vessel Protect, BMM Ports & Terminals, Freeboard Maritime and Fortify Marine.(Mia Wallace, 15/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Exclusive – Pen Underwriting in advanced talks for key deal')

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd. (IGI) has announced the completion of the acquisition of Norway-based managing general agency Energy Insurance Oslo AS (“EIO”). The transaction included the acquisition of all outstanding shares of EIO. The entity, which is expected to be renamed IGI Nordic AS (“IGI Nordic”), is a subsidiary of Bermuda-based International General Insurance Co. Ltd. (IGI, 16/3/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'IGI completes acquisition of Norway-based MGA Energy Insurance Oslo')


Gallagher has promoted James Kent to CEO of global insurance strategic relationships, with Tom Wakefield succeeding him as CEO of Gallagher Re after a transition period. Kent, formerly the boss of Willis Re, took up his previous post when Gallagher completed the $3.25bn (£2.7bn) takeover in December 2021. Gallagher detailed that in his new role he will be “responsible for establishing and driving the framework” that determines how it connects with major strategic partners. (Emmanuel Kenning, 16/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'James Kent promoted to group role with Tom Wakefield named Gallagher Re CEO')

Technology-enabled risk, benefits, and integrated business solutions provider Sedgwick has appointed Steve Godbold to the role of Private Client Director in the UK. Godbold will succeed the current Private Client Director Clive Ellis, who is stepping back to pursue other interests. Despite this, Ellis will continue to provide Sedgwick with the benefit of his expertise in a consultancy role. Godbold’s appointment to the role comes with over 25 years’ worth of experience within the industry. 17 of those years were spent with a prominent insurance business as a manager to their in-house private client adjusting team.(Kenneth Araullo, 16/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Sedgwick appoints UK private client director')

American International Group, Inc. has announced that William G. (Jerry) Jurgensen has decided to retire from the AIG Board of Directors and will not stand for re-election at the company’s 2023 Annual Meeting in May. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Jerry for his service to AIG,” said Peter Zaffino, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “Over the last decade, AIG and the Board benefitted from Jerry’s many contributions and insights, and we wish him the very best in the future.”(AIG, 13/3/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'William G. Jurgensen to retire from the AIG Board of Directors')

Miller, the leading independent specialist (re)insurance broker, has announced the appointment of Richard Walmsley in its Sports and Entertainment team. Richard brings significant experience in insurance and wealth management, with a focus on sports sponsorship and events. Prior to joining Miller, Richard was Head of Global Sporting Risks (a subsidiary of CKRe Ltd) and is the founder of specialist sports consultancy Tie-Break Sport Ltd. (Miller, 13/3/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Miller continues to grow Sports and Entertainment offering with senior hire')

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced the appointment of Olivier Reiz to the role of General Manager Insurance, France. Reiz joins LSM from Chubb, where he was Director of Strategic Growth for continental. (Liberty Specialty Markets, 16/3/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Liberty Specialty Markets France appoints Olivier Reiz as General Manager')

McGill and Partners has expanded its financial lines offering with three new hires: Paul Morgan, Breda Duignan and Abdel Budd. Morgan has worked in the insurance industry for 25 years and was most recently Head of the Financial Institutions team at Gallagher. Duignan has also been in the insurance market for 25 years and has joined the team from Aon. Budd joins from the executive risks team at Beazley, where he was Senior Underwriter. He has a background in both broking and underwriting. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 17/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'People Moves: 13 - 17 March 2023: McGill and Partners adds three to financial lines')

Verlingue has appointed Jon Bethell as Head of Private Clients to boost its high net worth offering. Bethell has almost two decades of insurance experience and jones from Hiscox where he worked for 12 years. Previous roles included claims and underwriting functions at Ageas and Aviva. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 17/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'People Moves: 13 - 17 March 2023: Verlingue boosts HNW offering with new recruit')

​Lloyd’s has made a number of changes to its executive committee. Bob James has taken over Chief Operating Officer responsibilities from Chief Financial Officer Burkhard Keese and Deputy CFO Alex Cliff has joined the executive committee with immediate effect. Previously the Market Transformation Director at Lloyd's, Bob James brings over 30 years’ experience in roles covering underwriting, technology, sales, marketing, banking advisory and operations. Burkhard Keese will continue as Lloyd’s CFO, with a particular focus on growing the Lloyd’s investment platform and risk transformation vehicle London Bridge to attract new capital providers. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 17/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'People Moves: 13 - 17 March 2023: Lloyd’s makes several changes to its executive committee')

The board of reinsurance giant Swiss Re is proposing the re-election of current Chair Sergio P. Ermotti at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders on April 12. According to the AGM agenda seen by Insurance Business, the board also wants Karen Gavan, Joachim Oechslin, Deanna Ong, Jay Ralph, Joerg Reinhardt, Philip K. Ryan, Sir Paul Tucker, Jacques de Vaucleroy, and Larry Zimpleman to be re-elected as Directors. Additionally, Vanessa Lau and Pia Tischhauser are being put forward to be elected as new board members. Renato Fassbind and Susan L. Wagner are not standing for re-election. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/3/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re board wants to keep current chair')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Insurance Age, Insurance Business UK and youTalk insurance.